What are Cyber Physical Systems?

ISSUE 5: June - Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) are the key to a new era of advances in technology that are paving way to the 4th industrial revolution. The CPS framework unifies networking, computing and physical processes: arrays of embedded sensors and microprocessors linked in networks (the cyber domain), take and analyse data created in the real world (the physical domain), and transform it into data that is fed back to the real world as information that can be used to create values. Feedback loops between the two domains constantly coordinate and reinforce the process, and drive forward innovation.

Equally important is the scope of CPS. Data can now be extracted from three distinct sources: the Internet of Things (IoT), which takes data from equipment and processes in areas such as manufacturing; the Internet of People (IoP), which covers human transactions and behaviour; and the Internet of Services (IoS), which analyses how to create sustained value streams through services.

CPS also observes the characteristics of Systems of Systems(SoS). When multiple cyber-physical loops exist, the SoS mechanism is important for grouping, bundling and coordinating them. Perhaps most important of all, CPS involves people and reflects their intent. The actions taken in the physical world are based on the analysis done in cyber space, and are often times in accordance with the cyber analysis result, but the ultimate purpose is to reflect human intent and desires.

Characteristics of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

Benefits of CPS Technology

Just as the internet has revolutionized interpersonal communications and interactions, CPS is expected to bring about a sweeping revolution in interactions between the physical and cyber worlds. By blending together digital and physical components through integrated physics and logic, CPS enables a recursive cycle that will engineer new products, services, and optimal solutions that will transform how people live and work.

Applications of CPS technology will generate new value in every sector of society and lead to the development of new business models. CPS is expected to address key challenges in diverse industrial sectors and applications.

With CPS’s potential to produce tremendous changes in social and industrial structures, and to increase the efficacy of traditional physical systems, it’s no surprise that significant investments are being made in its development.

What is Toshiba Group's CPS Strategy?

For over 140 years, Toshiba Group has contributed to advancing society, and has brought a venture spirit to the development of a wide range of technologies. Today, Toshiba Group delivers world-class products and services in areas that include power generation, transmission and distribution systems in the energy sector, and building solutions, railway systems and water treatment in the infrastructure sector.

Over its many years in business, Toshiba has gained immense experience and the ability to quickly predict massive global changes, which has made it a trusted partner. Alongside a broad knowledge base in the physical domain of manufacturing, Toshiba Group has also cultivated a wealth of know-how in AI and IoT. As we forge ahead in this era of rapid technological evolution, we increasingly see Toshiba’s real world technologies in manufacturing fusing with digital and internet technologies. This is taking Toshiba Group toward global leadership in a world where cyber and physical technologies are starting to merge.

A recent example of Toshiba’s transformation to become a CPS technology company is the establishment of Toshiba Data Corporation, a company dedicated to harnessing the power of data. Using data from sources as diverse as personal purchasing trends, human resource management, health records, and behavioural observations, Toshiba Data analyses people’s daily actions so as to identify meaningful insights and to generate useful information that can be brought to the physical world in a data-circulating ecosystem that benefits everybody involved.

ifLinks® is another and very different example of Toshiba Group’s move into CPS. It is a platform on which people can quickly and easily build an IoT system for themselves, connecting different devices, tools and services in the physical world, just by applying an if- then approach to the desired application. Toshiba Group has established the ifLinks® Open Community, which is dedicated to promoting and advancing the co-creation of innovative, user-first services built on a shared, simple to use IoT platform.


Even as it cultivates ground-breaking people-oriented CPS models, Toshiba Group is also making strong progress in bringing CPS business models into its established BtoB businesses. Advances here include Virtual Power Plants (VPP), railway operations planning systems, and factory IoT.

One particularly notable achievement is the Toshiba IoT Reference Architecture (TIRA). This is a three-tier architecture covering edge devices, platforms and enterprise services that provides a blueprint for creating different Industrial IoT services or CPS related businesses. By making the application programming interface (API) open source, Toshiba has ensured that not only group companies but third parties can use the architecture to create services. There is even a standard interface that makes sure that data can be downloaded from or connected to any device.


Toshiba Group Provides Society with Value


Toshiba Group’s intent, as explained in the 2018 "Toshiba Next Plan", is to become a world leading CPS technology company by 2030, and a provider of distinct and innovative solutions for social and business issues. The company will strive to lead an industrial transformation by making use of its technological know-how and experience to create value for customers. Here in India, through its approach to CPS and the digital era, Toshiba Group is focused on bringing a brighter future to society and to people.

Mr. Tomohiko Okada Managing Director Toshiba India Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Tomohiko Okada, Managing Director of Toshiba India Pvt. Ltd., has every confidence in Toshiba’s future: “We at Toshiba are proud of our unmatched expertise in blending cyber and physical components into CPS. As we have cultivated technology and know-how in many physical spheres over many years, we have also developed expertise in cyber and digital technologies. By combining these we have been able to establish Toshiba Data Corporation, develop ifLink®, and promote a transition to become a leader in CPS.

“Making use of the experience gained over years, and driven by its Basic Commitment, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba Group will continue to provide advanced solutions FOR A NEW DAY.”